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Mailbag: Will Increase In Flags Hurt Brandon Carr?

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GERARD SMITH
GLEN BURNIE, MD
The emphasis on illegal contact has come after five yards this preseason. Because of Brandon Carr unfortunately missing so much camp time this year, will he be way behind adjusting his playing style to the new emphasis on the rules?

Bryan: I don't believe so. The strength of his game is his ability to play as a press man corner, he understands when and how long needs to jam the receiver in route before letting up. He should be fine.

Rowan: The good part is he should have the third preseason game to get a little bit of a feel for it. Honestly, I don't think (or hope) the refs will call quite as many defensive holding penalties in the regular season as they are right now. There will probably be more than in years past, but the amount of penalties thrown in the preseason might just be a warning to defensive players to be aware of the stricter rules. The time off could hurt Carr, but I think it hurts more just for getting caught back up to the speed of the game than it does for understanding new penalty rules.

TROY TIKKANEN
JACKSONVILLE, NC
Looking back on the draft and how Zack Martin has played, if Anthony Barr had still been there, would you still choose Martin over Barr? I know we need good defensive [embedded_ad] players, but one good player isn't going to fix the defense, but Martin looks like he is going to be a force up front.

Bryan: I was looking at all defensive players myself. Barr was certainly on my radar because of his skill set. I was surprised that they were thinking about Ryan Shazier with their need at defensive line. They made the right move with DeMarcus Lawrence and to have him with Zack Martin were two solid picks.  

Rowan: I would have taken Barr. I was a bigger fan of Aaron Donald than any of the aforementioned players, but obviously that's not a choice in this scenario. Given the players presented, I'd have taken Barr, and I wouldn't have had a big issue if they still tried to take another pass rusher in the second or third rounds. Martin looks like he'll pan out as a great pick that'll help the offense for years to come, but the Cowboys' issues are on defense, and their lack of pass rushers leaves many to wonder what this season can hold.

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